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Volume 7, Issue 21

25 Mar

 

Issue 7.21 will make your skin crawl.

This issue tells stories to frozen corpses, attempts to weaponize black widow spiders, and finds out if its family tastes like pork. 

Crunch time for our Flash Rage contest. Sure, you can always count on our patented Procrastinator’s Special (patent-pending), but our soft deadline is approaching fast. Get those submissions in by end of the day (PST) Friday, March 31st. 

And keep an eye out for our 2nd annual poetry contest. Details dropping on that soon.

“Oh, what a day. What a lovely day!”

– The Editor

 

Yellow

by Christopher Dorsey

Marrow’s Sweet Decay

by L.P. Melling

Shiny and Black

by Steve Passey

Flash Doom Results!

19 Jan

napalm

 

Welp, we’re less than 24 hours away from a deranged circus clown taking over the White House. In spite the bleakness of world affairs at the moment, or perhaps because of it, we had a killer crop of imaginative doom-oriented flash fiction to sort through for this contest. We’re always gobsmacked by the creative dark and offbeat scenarios written about in our quarterly contests, and this one might’ve taken the cake for strange and surreal premises. Truly a joy to read them, and it’s always difficult to whittle them down to the ten stories that you’ll find in our Flash Doom mega-issue.  

We had quite a few close-but-no-cigars that were in the running right down to the final moments (and we encourage these stories to be submitted for consideration for our regular issues). Cannibals, surly sasquatch, jailhouse contagion, asteroids, diminishing body parts, boulder-hurling giants, electrified executions, alligators, ice dummies, gold towers, killer swimming pools, parasitic ladybug mutants? Yeah, we had all that and more, but as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. 

 

Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to the following writers:

Michael Croban
Calvin Demmer
Dan Diehn
Benjamin Finateri
Wiebo Grobler

Emmaleene Leahy
Emily Livingstone
Erick Mancilla

Toni Marshall
Jamie Mason
Hannah Mathewson
Lee Melling 

Jonathan Ochoco
R.A. Roth

Aeryn Rudel
Allison Spector (2)
Christopher Stanley
Mike Sweeney
Michael Tanner
John Vurro

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Doom mega-issue, which will run tomorrow on Trumpocalypse. They will also be included in our third-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue this fall. You can check out our recently-released Prize Winners Anthology Vol. 2 here.

But you didn’t come here for my yammering. 

Honorable Mentions go to:

10th Place – “Starve” by Nicolas Poynter
9th Place – “In Dreams” by Sherry Morris
8th Place – “The Remnant Bloom” by James Guthrie
7th Place – “An Incident on Dover Street” by Aeryn Rudel
6th Place – “The Ballad of James Malloy” by GJ Hart
5th Place – “Right Number” by Aaron Housholder 
4th Place – “Wernicke 27X” by Christina Dalcher 

 

And now on to the really bomb stories.

bomb

 

3rd Place ($50)

“Burn”
by Rachel Cassidy

 

2nd Place ($100)

“One Last Decision”
by Bill Adler

 

1st Place ($200)

“The End Is Always”
by Philip Webb Gregg

 

Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Doom contest. We literally couldn’t do this without you. Check back tomorrow for our Flash Doom mega-issue. 

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Flash Fear Results!

29 Oct

horror

After our last two Halloween contests insisted on the involvement of some kind of monster, Flash Fear has shown that some of the most monstrously head-spinning flash fiction can be unleashed when the shackles come off. This no-holds-barred approach to horror has yielded some of our most unnerving results to date, making this contest yet again an incredibly thrilling (and difficult) one to judge.

 

Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to the following writers:

Marta Balcewicz
Sarah Beaudette
Andrew Bourelle
Gary Buller
Trevor Byington
Jeremy Capps (2)
Nathan Coley
Christina Dalcher
Shane Gannaway
Laura Garrison
Wiebo Grobler
GJ Hart
D.I. Hughes
Emily Livingstone
Darla Kennerud
Carrie Redway
Aeryn Rudel
Allison Spector
Matt St. Hilaire

 

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Fear mega-issue, which will run on Halloween. They will also be included in next year’s Prize Winners Anthology print issue. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here, and this year’s anthology will be available by the end of November.

But enough jibber-jabber. Let’s get to the goods.

Honorable mentions go to:

10th Place – “Sixteen Minutes” by Premee Mohamed
9th Place – “In the Grain Bin” by Lindsey Baker
8th Place – “Tingles” by Michael Tanner
7th Place – “The Locus” by Nicholas Siegel
6th Place – “All the Goldfish” by Jennifer Lynn Krohn
5th Place – “Passing” by Patrick Kelly
4th Place – “Bless You” by Wiebo Grobler

 

And now on to the three stories that really deserve a big hand…

clap

3rd Place ($50)

“Masks”
by Aeryn Rudel

 

2nd Place ($100)

“Black Stained Glass”
by S.E. Casey

 

1st Place ($200)

“The Taxidermist’s Only Son”
by Caroline Smith

 

Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Fear contest. We literally couldn’t do this without you. Check back on Halloween for our Flash Fear mega-issue!

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Flash Icon Results!

14 Aug

elvis-get-down
When it comes to dark and offbeat flash fiction, nothing is sacred. We asked you to mess with iconic people, places, or things and you came through with something truly weird creations. This contest was wide open as far as tone is concerned and we were thrilled to see you all take icons to some bizarre and fantastical places.

Stay tuned in the near future for details on our next quarterly flash fiction contest, which will be a horror-themed #FlashFear contest, with our prizes winners mega-issue appearing on Halloween. 

And now to the stuff you really care about…

Some high-quality work this contest, which made it all that much more difficult to judge. Making cuts was no easy task, and many entries made it through the first couple rounds. That means we have a ton of non-cigars to hand out.

Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to the following writers:

Seth Augenstein
Sarah Beaudette (2)
Christina Dalcher
Alyssa Durst
Wiebo Grobler
G.J. Hart
D.I. Hughes
Kate Imbach
Hope Linden
Emily Livingstone

Jan Kaneen
Jennifer Kapral
Corinne Mahoney
Lisa Mecham
Chris Milam
Sherry Morris
Eric Newman
B.T. Schweitzer 
Jack Somers
Nick Soto
Allison Spector
Matt St. Hilaire
Christopher Stanley
Mike Sweeney
Guinotte Wise

We are incredibly grateful to have the chance to read each and every entry that came in. Your hard work and creative minds are what make these contests a success.

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Icon mega-issue, which will run within the next few days. They will also be included in this fall’s Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which will feature the Top 10 finishers from our other quarterly contests and the Shadow Award poetry contest. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here

I’m going to shut up now and make with the results…

10th Place – “Trekkie” by Henry Whittier-Ferguson
9th Place – “Post-Inauguration Day” by Shane Gannaway
8th Place – “Visitation” by Allison Spector
7th Place – “The Stories Hadley Hemingway Lost” by Robyn Ryle
6th Place – “Crumbs” by Gabriel Thibodeau
5th Place – “Boleskine” by Christopher Stanley
4th Place – “The Further Adventures of Dorothy Gale” by Fred Senese

 

 

And now on to the three stories that really knocked us out…

rocky2

3rd Place ($50)

“My Own Private Idol”
by Fiona Smith

 

2nd Place ($100)
“The Father of Terror”
by Aeryn Rudel

 

1st Place ($200)

“The Solstice Shade”
by F.E. Clark

 

Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Icon contest. We literally couldn’t do this without you. Check back within a few days  for the Flash Icon mega-issue!

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Shadow Award Results!

14 Jun

The dust has settled…

eraserhead

…and revealed our Shadow Award winners.

Well, here’s something you don’t see every day. We’re happy to announce the first-ever poems that will be published in The Molotov Cocktail—the winners and honorable mentions for our Shadow Award contest. As with any new endeavor, we weren’t quite sure what to expect for this poetry contest, but you all turned in some truly dark, strange, and unsettling stuff. Primary contest judge Mary Lenoir Bond had her work cut out for her, and she put in many long, painstaking hours of deliberation. She also had the following to say:

Thank you to everyone who entered our Shadow Award contest! What a pleasure it was to read all of your work. I fully expect one of these days a few of your books will be added to my vast shelves. Please follow my new(ish) blog and see my most recent post, where I discuss more about our contest judging process. I plan to write more about the flash fiction contests very soon, and speaking of that, I’m insanely excited to read the Flash Icon stories for August! I wish I could enter it as well, heh.

Thank you again, you wonderful weirdos, you fellows of freakdom. – Mary Lenoir Bond

We were also happy to see poems trickle in from all around the globe. Sure, we saw a good share from our compatriots here in the States, but we also saw a strong response from Canada, the U.K. and Ireland, with other entries coming in from Australia, Greece, Malaysia and elsewhere! The poets whose work will be featured in our Shadow Award mega-issue can revel in the fact that they will literally be read all around the world (still working on a marketing strategy to break into Antarctica). 

Though this contest has reached its end, we’ve always got something cooking at tMC. Our next quarterly flash fiction contest, Flash Icon, is now accepting submissions at an early-bird rate. That contest will require writers to include an iconic person, place, or thing, and we hope you get real weird with it.

But now on to the good stuff. We had an exceptional number of high-quality submissions whose authors are worthy of mention. However, we capped our non-cigar shout-outs at 20. 

Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to:


Ian Barbosa
F.E. Clark
Ophelia Darkly
Forrest DePoy
Laura Garrison
John Gosslee
Rosemary Harris
Sean Hooks
Zebulon Huset
David Marston (2)

Kathleen McCoy
Sheena Power
Carrie Redway

G.G. Silverman
James Stewart
Elijah Tubbs
G.D. Watry
Stephen Scott Whitaker
MB Vigil

We are truly grateful to have the chance to read each and every entry that came in. Your hard work and creative minds are what make these contests a success.

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Shadow Award poetry mega-issue, which will run by Friday, June 17th. They will also be included in this fall’s second-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which will feature the Top 10 finishers from our quarterly flash fiction contests as well. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here

 And now, here’s something we hope you’ll really like.

10th Place – “The Black Dog and Goat” by Forrest DePoy
9th Place – “A Water Can Sprays a Flowerbed City” by John Gosslee
8th Place – “Changeling” by Hannah Craig
7th Place – “Persephone Hangs Insulation” by Elizabeth Vignali
6th Place – “Visitation” by Frances Klein
5th Place – “Mud Ceremony” by Sara Ryan
4th Place – “The Divine Heap” by Amanda Chiado

 

And now for the poems we really couldn’t keep our hands off.

caligari shadow

3rd Place ($50)

“Children of the Damp”
by Brett Schweitzer

 

2nd Place ($100)

“Stark Raving Naked”
by Christopher P. Mooney

 

1st Place ($200)

“The Devil’s Taken His Dress Off”
by Amanda Chiado

 

Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in our first-ever poetry contest.We literally couldn’t do this without you. Check back by Friday, June 17th for the Shadow Award mega-issue!

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Flash Felon Results!

14 May
WeHappy                                                                                                                              

We asked you to get nefarious and you didn’t disappoint. We asked you to get creative with your crime-based flash fiction and you rose to the task. Once again, it was a joy (and a challenge) to judge so many remarkable entries. You brought our favorite brand of weirdness to one of the more structured genres out there, and the crime stories featured in Monday’s Flash Felon mega-issue will leave readers gobsmacked and breathless.  

And while we’ll be celebrating these 10 sinister and offbeat crime-themed stories for the next few days, the focus will soon shift to the Shadow Award. Our first-ever poetry contest—primarily judged by our associate editor and kick-ass poet Mary Lenoir Bond—is in the home stretch with a May 31st soft deadline, so send over your dark and weird poetry for a chance at cash prizes and the honor of being among the very first poetry that The Molotov Cocktail has ever published. 

Stay tuned in the near future for details on our next quarterly flash fiction contest, which will be branded #FlashIcon and will seek stories that involve an iconic person, place or thing. Completely open to all genres; it just has to revolve around an icon. Should be a fun one.

And now to the goods…

We had a slightly lower than average turnout this time around, but that didn’t translate into fewer quality entries. On the contrary, the deliberation process became painstaking as we got down to under 30 top entries. As a result, there’s plenty of non-cigars to hand out. Close-but-no-cigar mentions go to the following writers:

Seth Augenstein
Christina Dalcher
Calvin Demmer
Ryan Dempsey
GJ Hart
DI Hughes
(2)
Shona McCombes
Charlotte Merckens
Christopher P. Mooney (2)
Jonathan Ochoco
Brad Rose
Aeryn Rudel
Lucas Snoey
Christopher Stanley
Derek Thompson
G.D. Watry

We are truly grateful to have the chance to read each and every entry that came in. Your hard work and creative minds are what make these contests a success.

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Flash Felon mega-issue, which will run on Monday, May 16th. They will also be included in this fall’s Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which will feature the Top 10 finishers from our other quarterly contests and the Shadow Award poetry contest. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here

That’s enough yammering from me. 

10th Place – “Space Monkey Mafia” by Allison Spector 
9th Place – “The Noose on the Roof” by Charles Scott
8th Place – “Libertas” by Warren Buchanan 
7th Place – “Jokers to the Right” by Rich Larson 
6th Place – “The Sitting Room” by Aeryn Rudel 
5th Place – “Beyond the Briars” by Joshua Patterson 
4th Place – “Everything Must Go” by Emily Livingstone

 

And now on to the three entries that really blew our minds:

BlewOurMinds

 

3rd Place

“Blood Feather and Soft Feather”
by Melissa Monks

2nd Place

“Postmaster”
by Henry Whittier-Ferguson

1st Place

“The London Umbrella Company”
by Jan Kaneen

 

Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Flash Felon contest.We literally couldn’t do this without you. Check back Monday, May 16th for the Flash Felon mega-issue!

Volume 6, Issue 21

18 Mar

Issue 6.21


Take a look inside Issue 6.21.

This issue we’ve got a literally infectious smile, sinister hot dogs, and loads of fish guts.

Early-bird deadlines for both our Flash Felon crime stories and Shadow Award poetry contests are about to hit on April Fool’s Day, which just so happens to be our six-year anniversary of existence. Volume 7 is just a stone’s throw away.

In heaven, everything is fine…

– The Editor

 

Punch’s Grin

by Eric Hawthorn

Late

by Preston Lang

That Damn Fish Smell

by L.L. Madrid